Submission for special issue proposal


  • Please submit a proposal of approximately 500 words briefly presenting the theme and the various questions addressed in the special issue, the list of authors invited to submit an article so far as well as a deadline (a date on which the texts will be received).
  • We would like to remind you that all articles submitted to the journal are evaluated by a committee of at least two anonymous peers, chosen by the editor and the administrative coordinator. At times, when needed, they will consult the Board of referees to help them out. It is therefore important to inform the authors invited to submit articles that publication is not guaranteed.
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Deadline for submissions : December 15, 2018

The Ethical Challenges of Recovering Historical Memory

Guest editor: Florence Larocque and Anne-Marie Reynaud (Université de Montréal)

Les Ateliers de l’éthique/The Ethics Forum invites articles for a special issue on historical memory.

In both contexts of a real or a superficial desire for reconciliation, multiple initiatives present themselves to projects that aim at preserving the historical memory of episodes of oppression or authoritarianism. Frequently, these take the form of truth and reconciliation commissions (notably in Canada, Latin America and South Africa), museums of memory or works of art. However, these initiatives often raise debates and questions about the recovery of memory for political or personal purposes. Sometimes it is the victims who do not feel understood; at other times, the allies of the protagonists feel that they are wrongly judged. Recovering historical memory, especially in connection to episodes of oppression and violence, is a sensitive – and far from unanimous – process.

More than a few recent initiatives aiming to recover, preserve or highlight historical memory have sparked debate, both nationally and internationally. Among others in Canada, there was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the historical series Canada: The Story of Us launched for the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, and the works Slāv and Kanata, which have all been criticized to varying degrees. Internationally, processes of democratic transition or internal conflicts have sometimes been followed by memory recovery initiatives, be they legislative (memorial laws), punitive (lawsuits), restorative (truth and reconciliation commissions) or commemorative (museums, artistic creations). These initiatives are also often called into question.

In the light of case studies or critical reflections, the present thematic journal issue aims to explore the ethical issues of memory recovery (in particular the historical memory of episodes of oppression or violence), through the following questions:

  • Can/should historical memory be preserved without being recovered for other purposes? To what extent is it problematic (or not) that it is also recovered for political, cultural or personal ends?
  • Can/should historical memory be inclusive? Should initiatives to preserve historical memory involve victims and protagonists (or even other external actors) when dealing with oppression?
  • What is the place of individual memory in processes of reconstituting collective historical memory?
  • Can/should historical memory be plural? Can it escape from a unitary (or even binary) narrative? Should collective memory aim to strike a balance between different visions of history? What are the consequences of striking a balance between these visions, compared to the full representation of the victims’ vision?
  • Can different forms of historical memory and memorial traditions coexist on an equal footing?
  • Is social mobilization necessary for the process of forming historical memory?
  • What is/are the difference (s) between memorial politics and memorial ethics?

The scope of this thematic journal issue is multidisciplinary. We invite authors from various disciplines (history, anthropology, political science, philosophy, sociology, law, etc.) to submit their proposals.


Papers should be between 6000 and 9000 words. The paper should be anonymised and suitable for blind refereeing. Detailed instructions to authors are available at this address:

Proposals should be submitted via email before [deadline] to: